June 4th, 2008


Apple TV just became that much more useful

As with my iPod touch, I never planned on buying an Apple TV until I figured I could hack it to make it more useful. With the iPod touch I wanted to add applications and functionality, to the point where I now have it pushing live info on the tracks I'm listening to to last.fm, and I can use Soulseek to download tracks directly from the Interwebs - for free - that I own already but don't necessarily have on my iPod there and then.

As far as Apple TV is concerned, I primarily wanted to upload files to the thing's HD and enable it to play XviDs, and people have already figured out how to do this so all I need to do is follow the instructions. I posted back in January about how useless even Apple TV "v2.0" was in a UK market without any form of movie rentals, but as of today Apple and the studios have finally started offering a limited selection of "films" on the UK iTunes store.

There is still no way in hell that I am handing over even £6.99 for a digital copy of a library film - let alone £10.99 for a new release - when I can just as easily buy an actual DVD for less money and rip that. What actually does tempt me is the price point for rentals: non-HD rentals that last for 48 hours as opposed to 24 in the States cost £2.49/£3.49. Couple that with instant download+playback on the Apple TV and suddenly that £199 outlay for the unit itself doesn't sound nearly as extortionate. (Although I'd still prefer to buy it in the US for $229.)